Michigan school district ordered to pay $800,000

PORT HURON (AP) -- A Michigan school district accused of not doing enough to prevent the harassment of a student has been ordered to pay $800,000.

Hudson Area Schools, in Lenawee County near the Ohio border, was sued by the parents of a young man identified in court documents as DP. A jury in federal court in Port Huron reached the decision last Wednesday.

The lawsuit said DP was the victim of bullying, starting in sixth grade in 2002. By his freshman year, his parents say it escalated to sexual assault.

District lawyer Timothy Mullins told the Detroit Free Press the verdict puts schools in the position of being held liable for student behavior. The district plans to appeal.

A judge ruled in favor of Hudson in 2007, but an appeals court reversed that decision.

Published: Tue, Mar 9, 2010